Deaf Survivors and Survivors with Disabilities
This tool is to be used by sexual assault and domestic violence programs to review their programs and services to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access and an equal opportunity to participate. Accessibility includes removing not only physical barriers to participation, but also cultural and attitudinal barriers. Many of the suggestions about policies and communication are best practices, and some are required by law. This tool is designed to be used with an accompanying Accessibility Guide. Links to both the Guide and the Tool can be found below.
A January 2015 report released by the Vera Institute of Justice describes how DV shelters often lack language and cultural competencies necessary for serving Deaf survivors. This article summarizes the issue confronting Deaf survivors speciﬁcally, and describes several pathways toward improving access to domestic violence resources for Deaf survivors discussed in Vera report.
To achieve full accessibility to deaf survivors, it's necessary to install appropriate equipment, make adjustments in budget and operating procedures, and establish a relationship with the local deaf community. If the following steps are taken, your shelter will become fully accessible AND user-friendly for deaf survivors in your community.